A Story of Ink & Steel (2015)
Imagine being the last one in this world to continue, what others have started before you.
Osamu Yamamoto is working for the printing company Benrido in Kyoto, Japan. He is in charge of the collotype – a 150 year old printing process from Europe. He and his studio are working for the office of the Japanese Emperor, making copies of ancient scrolls, paintings and letters. They are saving Japanese artworks and cultural heritage for the generations to come.
Until my first visit, Benrido hadn’t actually realized, they were the last studio. I only knew it myself, because I did a story about the last collotype in Europe back in 2012 before they closed down.
I’m fascinated how something as big and cold as steel can produce something as gentle and fragile as paper and art. It is also perplexing for me, how this craft from Europe could just vanish from the world, while it is being cherished and proudly kept alive in Japan.